Ideas for democracy

Idea One “Our common welfare should come first; personal progress depends upon democratic unity.”

Two “For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority equality

Three “The only requirement for democratic membership is a desire to stop exploitation and start engaging in well-being ”

Four “Each democratic group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or democracy as a whole.”

Five”Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the people who still suffer inequality.”

Six “A democratic group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the publics name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purposes.”

Seven “Every democratic group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.”

Eight “Democracy should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”

Nine “Democracy as such, ought never be privatized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.”


Eleven “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.”

Twelve “Democracy is the principled foundation of all our Ideas, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

We will never find salvation in any one idea, principal, institution, leader, authority, party, religion. Progression in anything we value is caused by the creativity we apply to the problem, idea or situation. The above ideas were transposed from Alcoholics Anonymous’s “Twelve Traditions.”

The only purpose of the above is to illustrate:

The AA’s institutional structure has a lot to offer community and the general public as well as the suffering alcoholic. I find the religious aspect a bit troublesome even though it suggests an open approach to who your god happens to be. This said there is a lot on offer in the general philosophy of the organization even for atheists like myself.

The autonomy and self reliance, the support mechanism, self funding are all commendable values that could be transferred to any community. The problems of alcoholism in the AA is approached and tackled from all angles, is as near to a classless society as you will get, has a reliable support system and people tend to stick with the organization. With so much of our social safety nets disappearing and communal funds being transferred to the private domain. In this climate any ideas in self help, self sufficiency, self respect and self scrutiny need to be used welcomed.

From: Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Alcoholics AnonymousUK

Alcoholics Anonymous on-line web site